What am I going to write about this week? At this time of year I'm always cautious of getting bogged down in Christmas clichés, seasonal staleness, tinselly triteness.
I suppose I could be helpful to the newspaper readership and offer Christmas gift suggestions: a festive necktie featuring Rudolph with a flashing nose (batteries not included); a bloke's barbecue apron with big bulbous breasts on it; furry dice to hang from the car's rear-view mirror in order to obscure the view.
But we've done them all before, haven't we? That's a tedious topic.
But I do want to mention one gift idea for the kids before moving on. It's just that it tickled my fancy and that in turn reminded me that I have a fancy.
It's a peeing dog toy. Kids keep handing it around not knowing when it will decide to pee on one of them. It's meant to be a fun thing so the advice is to fill it with water rather than dog urine.
Also worth a mention is one that keeps doing the rounds in our family. It's a bottle of someone's homemade fruit wine. The same bottle keeps popping up on important gift occasions, and if any of us receives a gift basket or hamper, we know that the bottle neck sticking out of the top is the fruit wine.
I suppose I could become embroiled in the debate about when is a reasonable time to put up your Christmas decorations. If we were true to tradition, I suspect the correct time would be Christmas Eve but that suggestion could cause heated debate and I don't want to stir up any unpleasantness.
Hang your tinsel and baubles whenever you want, I say. Deck the halls whenever you feel the urge.
I'm certainly not keen to talk about Covid-19 and its variants – we're all over that. Besides which it would probably become dark and serious because of the number of people already trying to gain access to venues using fake vaccine passes. A united team of five million may well be a myth.
No, I want a light-hearted topic to perk up the readership, and bring a smile to their worn-out, pandemic-ravaged faces.
So the National Party leadership is out, although there is a positive there – we won't need to read or hear about Judith Collins much any more.
Ms Collins (interrupting): "But I'll tell you one thing ..."
Staying Christmassy, I could offer vegetarian or vegan suggestions for your Christmas dinner menu, but I have a feeling I would still be biased towards turkey (gravy would definitely be involved) and ham, followed by figgy pudding.
Ms Collins (interrupting again): "And I'll tell you another thing ..."
Perhaps I could count on Christmas cracker riddles and jokes to get me across the column word count line. Yes, that should do it. These are, of course, for people who make their own crackers (though there is probably a correct date for starting to make Christmas table accoutrements).
But let's just run with it on the understanding that you accept that commercial, ready-made crackers have even worse jokes.
Q: How does Good King Wenceslas like his pizza?
A: Deep-pan, crisp and even.
Q: Why is it getting harder to buy advent calendars?
A: Because their days are numbered.
Q: What do you get if you cross Santa with a duck?
A: A Christmas quacker.
Sorry about those, but all I have to do now to get me to my word limit is wish you all a merry Christmas or any other meaningful celebration of your choice.
Ms Collins: "I'd tell you another thing if I could but this face-mask elastic is caught in my earring."
Wyn Drabble is a teacher of English, a writer, musician and public speaker.